Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

2 of 5
Cost: $7,000 to $13,000
Charge time: 6-8 hours
Range: 30-40 miles
Top speed: 25 mph

The GEM car, from Chrysler's Global Electric Motorcars division, is more typical of what's available to today's average consumer.

It's a small, lightweight vehicle that can go up to 25 mph. It can go just a little faster on a downhill grade, but the electric motor automatically steps in to slow it down.

The 25 mph top speed is a matter of law, not engineering. "Low Speed Vehicles" (LSVs) like the GEM don't have to meet the same safety requirements as faster cars. They can only be driven on roads with speed limits below 35 mph, so highways and even faster surface arteries are off limits.

But 25 mph is still adequate for many daily commutes and around-the-town errands. In many gated communities, you're not allowed to go any faster, anyway.

Like most low-speed vehicles, the GEM has three-point safety belts and uses laminated safety glass for its windshield. It has a range of 30 miles on a six-to-eight hour charge, the company says.

The GEM still sells mostly to fleet customers. It's available in versions with seating for two, four or six and with a flat bed or with a literal trunk, as shown here.

NEXT: Dynasty iT Sedan

Last updated June 18 2008: 10:14 AM ET
More Galleries
Driving the ultimate in '50s Mercedes-Benz style The SC was the car that re-introduced Mercedes-Benz as a global luxury car icon. More
Driving the world's first car Driving a replica of the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, the first internal combustion automobile. More
Your guide to Cyber Monday sales This year, more Cyber Monday sales than ever start well before Monday. Here's where to shop if you don't get your fill on Black Friday. More

Special Offer